Company News Reporter, London
Neil's Feed
Oct 29, 2014

Britain’s Fraud Office launches criminal probe into Tesco accounting

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a formal criminal investigation into accounting errors at Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), adding to the intense scrutiny of the country’s biggest grocer.

Tesco was already being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the group revealed the discovery of a 263 million pound ($424 million) hole in its accounts, adding to a string of recent profit warnings and management departures to nearly halve the company’s market value this year.

Oct 29, 2014

UK’s Next cuts profit guidance as sales feel the heat

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s No.2 clothing retailer
Next Plc cut its profit guidance after an unusually warm
autumn left its coats, scarves and jumpers stuck on shop
shelves, sending an ominous sign to rivals ahead of the
Christmas season.

Shares in Next fell as much as 4.4 percent, dragging down
rivals Marks & Spencer and Debenhams as the
company spelt out the impact on demand of Britain’s driest-ever
September and mild October.

Oct 28, 2014

Britain to award benefits contract to U.S. firm Maximus: source

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is set to pick U.S. group Maximus Inc over UK-based Interserve Plc for a contract worth around 500 million pounds ($806 million) to assess whether benefits claimants are fit to work, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

Britain’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been searching for a service provider for months after French incumbent Atos SE reached a financial settlement in March to quit the contract earlier than scheduled next year.

Oct 27, 2014

New Tesco boss Lewis gets “golden hello” share options

LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Embattled British retailer Tesco
Plc has handed its new boss Dave Lewis a potentially
lucrative “golden hello”, awarding him options for 1.66 million
shares to compensate for benefits he surrendered when he quit
his previous job.

The options, priced at 230.4 pence apiece, were worth 3.8
million pounds ($6 million) based on Tesco’s share price in
early September when Lewis joined, though since then the stock
has plummeted in the wake of an accounting scandal.

Oct 23, 2014

Tesco accounting black hole deepens, chairman to step down

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s largest retailer Tesco reported a bigger than expected hole in its finances on Thursday after finding that accounting transgressions went back further than initially thought, prompting its chairman to quit.

Shares in Tesco fell 8.5 percent to an 11-year low, meaning Tesco, once the juggernaut of the retail sector, has lost half its market value this year after the accounting errors compounded a succession of profit warnings.

Oct 23, 2014

New Tesco boss starts long journey with small steps

LONDON (Reuters) – Retail is detail, the industry adage goes, and new Tesco boss Dave Lewis will be hoping investors and shoppers agree after he unveiled a flurry of small tweaks to Britain’s ailing No.1 grocer, but not the big rescue plan many think it needs.

Only seven weeks into the job, and in the midst of an accounting scandal that forced him to scrap the company’s full-year profit forecast, Lewis was never likely to commit himself to a costly revival plan that he didn’t know if he could afford.

Oct 23, 2014

Whistl loses challenge to Royal Mail’s tax exemption

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Whistl, a company launching a
rival delivery service to Britain’s dominant Royal Mail,
on Thursday lost a High Court challenge to have the former
state-owned postal operator’s VAT exemption removed.

As part of its status as Britain’s six-day-a-week universal
service provider, Royal Mail is exempt from paying value-added
tax, currently set at 20 percent, on revenues it receives from
delivering mail that is collected and sorted by rivals.

Oct 23, 2014

Tesco scraps profit outlook as accounting black hole deepens

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco reported a bigger than expected hole in its accounts on Thursday after finding mistakes in booking income had gone back further than initially thought, forcing Britain’s biggest grocer to scrap its full-year profit outlook.

Tesco, which has lost 20 percent of its market value this month after the accounting mis-statement compounded three earlier profit warnings, scrapped the outlook as its second-quarter underlying domestic sales fell 5.5 percent.

Oct 22, 2014

SuperGroup founder steps aside as Sutherland named CEO

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – SuperGroup Plc, the
British company behind the Superdry fashion brand, named
ex-Co-op Group boss Euan Sutherland as its new chief executive
on Wednesday, replacing Julian Dunkerton who founded the company
on a market stall 30 years ago.

Sutherland, who has more than 19 years experience in the
retail sector with roles at the likes of home improvement chain
B&Q, electricals group Dixons and fizzy drinks maker
Coca-Cola, had been a non-executive director at
SuperGroup for two years and will be charged with overseeing its
international expansion.

Oct 14, 2014

Mulberry hit by drop in tourists, strategy shift

LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – British luxury handbag maker
Mulberry cut its profit forecast for the third time this
year, saying a drop in tourist shoppers had compounded the
disruption to its business from a shift back to selling
lower-priced bags.

Mulberry shares dropped as much as 25 percent to a four-year
low on Tuesday, after it said full-year pretax profit would be
significantly below analysts’ expectations.

    • About Neil

      "I'm a company news reporter covering the retail and leisure sectors. Based in London I write on everything from the big retailers to fashion chains, hotels, drinks firms, pubs and coffee shops. I've previously covered the outsourcing sector and before that worked on Reuters sport for three years. You can follow me on Twitter @ReutersMaidment"
      Joined Reuters:
    • More from Neil

    • Contact Neil

    • Follow Neil